Castle Combe, round 7 of the 2013 Quaife Intermarque Championship and at just 100 miles from our garage, the closest meeting of the season for Loram Racing!
Castle Combe was the scene of our circuit racing debut back at the end of the 2010 season so it was nice to come back now we have more of an idea what we’re doing, although it seems Ross had forgotten just how bumpy the circuit is. It appears he’d also forgotten quite which way it went (along with many of the other drivers) as he went straight through the escape road past one of the chicanes on the first lap of qualifying. In true racing driver fashion he had an excuse lined up ready at the end of the session, saying he’d blindly followed Philip Young down the escape road. Philip in turn saying he’d blindly followed Keith White down there. And no doubt Simon Smith and Malcolm Blackman using the same excuse as they followed Ross, much to the marshals amusement no doubt.
Through the chicane in qualifying (Photo used courtesy of www.barcsoutheast.co.uk and Rafal Biniszewski, thanks!)
With a few laps in the bag and a bit more experience of the track things were going well in the #26 206 with Ross lapping in the late 1:13’s, a few more laps and this became the mid 1:13’s and one big final effort with lots of kerb through the chicanes resulted in a best lap of 1:13.02, good enough for 7th on the grid, between Keith White and Lewis Smith (who was in Richards Tigra this weekend….that poor Tigra being driven by so many different people recently it must be having an identity crisis!) You can see a few exciting laps of Castle Combe onboard the 206 by clicking here and visiting Youtube.
Ross and Chris Ayling try some synchronised drifting (Photo used courtesy of www.barcsoutheast.co.uk and Rafal Biniszewski, thanks!)
Onto the racing and Ross lost out to Mark Fuller on lap 1 and lost another place to Simon Smith whilst trying to move forward. With Chris Ayling and Luke Armiger behind it was shaping up to be an interesting race but Ross was in for a bit of a shock a few laps in when he jumped on the brakes only for one of his shoulder belts to fly off! Now Castle Combe is a bit of an exciting track at the best of times so Ross had to make a quick stop to get everything fastened back up before getting underway again, somehow still making it into tenth place at the finish after passing Philip Young on the last lap.
(Thanks to Clive Marchant / GridArt for the photo)
10th place came as a result of a massive number of DNF’s, most notably our two championship contenders. Before Castle Combe they’d both finished every race all season (and won them all between them) but first Matt had a stub axle snap which sent him spinning into retirement and just when Chris thought the race (and most probably the championship) was his, he rolled into retirement with just a couple laps to go as his MBE box came unplugged. Which is just cruel. Quite frankly we’d have been pouring petrol on it in his situation but he seemed to take it somewhat better than that!
Race 2 was a short affair for #26, and several others… (Photo used courtesy of www.barcsoutheast.co.uk and Rafal Biniszewski, thanks!)
A startline crash just behind Ross in race 2 caused a complete restart which resulted in several cars lining up held together mostly with duct tape (wonderful stuff) with Malcolm Blackman and Russell Humphrey missing the race altogether. (Huge congrats on Russell’s 2nd place in race 1 by the way, great result) Unfortunately Ross was next on the list of retirements with a brake problem to complete a bit of a mess up of what was looking like quite a promising weekend after qualifying. To be fair we knew that would happen though as far too many friends had made the journey up to come and see us, and lovely as it was to see everyone, we all know it’s a kiss of death on any weekend 😉
That’s all for now, stay tuned to the website over the coming weeks as we have ‘THE BIG GARAGE SALE’ coming up shortly, featuring everything from our wonderful racecar to gearboxes and smaller items, you won’t want to miss that!